What if my birth family doesn't want to talk to me?

What if my birth family doesn't want to talk to me? 

Best Answers

  • Unfortunately not all reunions are what you see on television.  It’s very possible for you to locate your birth family only to learn they didn’t want to be found. In some cases a birth mother spent years trying to bury the pain of the adoption and she does not want to relive that. Some birth parents went on to have more children together or have separate families of their own. In those situations you may be a complete secret, one they are afraid of sharing. Sadly, some birth parents just have no interest in the child that was placed, not unlike the many adoptees who do not wish to search for birth family.

    No matter what the reason a failed reunion can be very hurtful. The first thing you need to do is give it time. You have had the entire time you were searching to process your feelings and emotions in regard to finding your birth family. Your birth parents did not have that advantage. Their knee-jerk reaction to your arrival may not have been one of their finer moments. Give them time to ponder the idea of you being in their lives. If after some time has passed there has been no change in their acceptance of you then it’s time to move on.

    You have to let go of the past and allow yourself the time to mourn the loss of your birth parents. You may be able to salvage a relationship with a different biological relative such as an aunt, uncle, or sibling. Failed reunions can be difficult and painful, but not without purpose. At least now you have the answers to the questions you have had your whole life. Now you know who and where you came from. Through your grief you can find peace.

  • edited April 29 Answer ✓
    What a great and simultaneously heartbreaking question! I know from hearing from adoptees and many questions posed on the Community page at Adoption.com  that you are most certainly not alone in this fear. While many birth families DO have the tearful reunions you see posted all over social media, there are some situations where birth parents are either taken by surprise and not ready for reunion, ashamed, or have extenuating circumstances that cause them to not want to be reunited with their birth child.

    The first thing to understand and take to heart in this situation is that if your birth parents say no, the issue is not you. There is nothing wrong with you that has caused them to say no. The issue or circumstance lies with them. Before even seeking a reunion, understand and continually tell yourself that, whatever the answer, you are still you and still a whole person. Their answer should not define you. While there is little protection this might offer from disappointment, it would be easy to send yourself into a tailspin of rejection if you do not full believe and understand otherwise. 

    Secondly, understand that if you would like to be reunited with your birth family, it typically cannot hurt to just ask. The chances are greater that at least one member of your birth family wants a reunion and has been looking for you. It is worth it to take the chance and at least gain some semblance of closer. 

    Lastly, unless they have expressed it to you, remember that you do not necessarily know the WHY behind the no. If your birth parents have said no to a reunion, it could be for a really good reason. It could be for your protection. There may have been dangerous circumstances surrounding them that may have even led to their decision to place. No matter how much time has passed, these circumstances may not have changed. A no could be a way for them to keep protecting you. A no can also be a "not right now" even if not expressed. Just as you had to sort out your emotions to pose the question, your birth parents may need time to process their emotions and shock. While you shouldn't assume a no won't always be a no, understand that you may have to see what happens down the road while letting yourself know you put the ball in their court.

    Check out the communities at Adoption.com as mentioned above for more reunion stories and you can read here about what the media isn't sharing about adoption reunions! 
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